Friday, August 27, 2004

Nobody Likes You

You are a big, fat, stupid, lazy, ugly, retarded fuck. You have shit for brains. You look and act like a moron, and your stink attracts flies. You will never amount to anything. You are a waste of oxygen. You're unprofessional, unattractive, insensitive, and incapable of any creative thought. You're mean and rude and loud. You're dumber than a rock. I wish I'd never met you. And it's not just me: nobody likes you. We'll all be glad when you're gone.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Dzień Franka

The Olympic games have been eating away my oxygen these past few nights like Sylvia’s tulips. I often get annoyed with the announcers mythologizing the American athletes; and I’ve adopted my own system of naming: Paul Hamm has become “the Hammster,” and Michael Phelps has become “the Phelpsinator.” Try to outdo that, Mr. Costas!

You know, it’s been hard for me to feel sympathy for those who don’t place or medal. It’s the fuckin’ Olympics after all! So what if you’re only 5th best in the world at synchronized pole-vaulting. At the very least, you could have a fulfilling career in porn after your nation shuns you for not bringing home the gold. You know, I mean most of them have really hot bodies.

Gymnastics are nice, but I’m still too much a fan of Nadia’s. You remember, perfect score of 10 . . . seven or eight times! Try to outdo that, little Ms. Carly!

Yesterday Lori declared a day for Frank. Thank you! I celebrated by going out for Chinese after spending most of the afternoon driving from south Dallas to north Plano (believe me: a far, far distance; if I would’ve been in Europe, I would’ve traveled through most of Benelux!) in the pissing rain.

It seems I’m set to begin teaching as well as taking courses this Monday. My government classes are all set, and I submitted my syllabi yesterday. After I finally returned home, I even began reading the first essays for my graduate courses. Over the next week, I need to prep my humanities courses, but now that I have all the supplemental material from the publisher, it should be a breeze. The most difficult part will be deciding which sections to cut out of a course over the entire history and cultures of the world.

Now excuse me as I go for the gold….

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Just because you’re accepted…

…doesn’t mean you belong.

Okay, here’s the skinny: I’m not moving to London this fall. Yes, I concede that I may be passing up the opportunity of a lifetime, but I also concede that I’m passing up a level of debt that would take the remainder of my lifetime to pay. Let’s see: debt-free at 40 or approximately $100,000 in debt with a graduate degree from LSE? You do the math.

As many of you know, I was accepted into the London School of Economics’ European Institute to study the political economy of post-Soviet transitions. I will continue studying such things—‘cuz I’s just no good at nuttin’ else—except at the University of Texas at Dallas, where I’ve been accepted into their political science Ph.D. program. (And at least there I won’t always have to spell program with 2 m’s and an e! Programme, indeed!)

LSE did not offer me any assistance. Neither have any of the several grant-making institutions I’ve applied to over the past two years. (Rotary Club of Dallas: kiss my ass!) Moreover, I haven’t even been guaranteed housing in London: “There were over 6,800 applications this year for approximately 2,700 places and this means I have had to disappoint many students.” Let the disappointment begin!

I am disappointed. Sad. Depressed even. But I’m sure that I’m making the best decision possible for me … and for the we of which I so enjoy being a part of. But I won’t have too much time to dwell on what-might-have-beens since I’ll be teaching two government courses as well as two new introductory humanities courses throughout the fall term while beginning this Ph.D. program.

So, apologies to Chris, to Sarah, to Olja even: I won’t be in London this fall. But you’ll all have a place and a friend in Dallas to visit. Send postcards.

And there’ll always be the chance of a post-doc.

“It’s an honor just to be nominated….” (Sound of puking in the distance.)



Throughout the Democratic National Convention and ever since the publication of the 9/11 Commission’s report, I’ve grown annoyed with the issue of America’s enemies. Instead of asking who they are, why hasn’t anyone asked why? Why does the US have enemies? I’m neither racist nor naïve enough to believe that they hate us because we love democracy and freedom.

Finally, on a recent edition of Now with Bill Moyers, political philosopher Benjamin Barber addressed the issue. Unfortunately, the transcript hasn’t been made available online yet, but Barber’s own site is worth reading if you’re interested in something like democracy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Shyamalama-ding-dong

Tossed and turned throughout the entire night until I woke up with the words from “Don’t Dream It” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show in my head:

Whatever happened to Fay Wray
That delicate satin draped frame
As it clung to her thigh
How I started to cry

This morning I learned that Fay Wray died at the age of 96.

Watched M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village over the weekend. I wasn’t too impressed; the most interesting thing about this film was Sonia’s interpretation that it was a metaphor for the Bush administration: a society based on lies, self-deception, and fear, that comes to the brink of falling apart when it’s self-created bogey man becomes real. It’s interesting to take this interpretation further and look at how the village’s emissary to the Real World is blind, and that the medicine that could so easily save the lives of the villagers is so readily available, yet the elders didn’t have the foresight to take some with them. Blah blah blah.

Now that we’ve covered the most interesting part of the film—i.e., our over-intellectualized interpretation of it, I should at least mention the most annoying part: the overly dramatic nonuse of contractions.

Enjoyed spending the last three days with two of my best (and oldest) friends in the whole world. We basically moved from table to sofa to café and back, talking and reminiscing for hours about life in Austin, Japan, Europe, etc.


Friday, August 6, 2004

go to the gym hear music read scary books

I found the above phrase used in an online personal ad today. I think I need to meet this person. How does he know I'd hear music at my gym? Why does he insist I read scary books? It's all a sweet, sweet mystery.

Reminds me of a cookie Stephen brought to me a few weeks ago: Hippo Vanilla Butter Sugar Cookie. There is just nothing wrong with those words strung together like sweet, sweet pearls!

Submitted grades this morning after spending a couple of hours grading exams. This summer semester is finally over. And I accepted two humanities classes for the autumn term in addition to my two government courses.

Tomorrow morning we leave for San Antonio to visit Sonia, whom I haven't seen in four years.